A while ago I was asked, for the first time, to give a reiki session to a dog, in this case a Golden Retriever. Admittedly, I wasn’t entirely comfortable around dogs after a couple of unpleasant childhood experiences. What I do know about Golden Retrievers, however, is that they’re usually a lively, friendly bunch in a jumping up and down sort of way.
Lily, a rescue dog, wasn’t one of those Golden Retrievers.
I was told, Lily suffered from separation anxiety due to her previous owners who were very nervous people and never allowed her off the lead and she was kept in a cage. Lily was constantly nervous, she routinely barked at the postman and picked up any tension in people around her. So after discussing Lily’s case with her rather enthusiastic owner, I made up my mind to give it a go.
We decided that it would be best to visit Lily at her house, since it was familiar territory to her. I was expecting to be greeted with a lot of barking. What I got instead was a thin Golden Retriever with patchy fur who sent very mixed messages. She whined a lot, wagged her tail enthusiastically but had her head hung low in a very submissive posture. Lily was curious by nature, but even I could see she wasn’t happy about coming within my reach.
Into the living room we went, where Lily’s owner and I talked for a few minutes, which was all part of the plan to let Lily know that I could be trusted.
Unexpected Reaction to Reiki
I started the reiki, letting it flow from my hands and aiming them at Lily. She looked at me and came closer, so I slid down on to the floor and sat cross legged in front of her.
Using her right paw, Lily guided my left hand downwards under her chest. I took a hint and positioned my other hand on her back so she was essentially sandwiched between my hands. After a minute or two, Lily moved forwards slightly so the energy would be directed further down her body. After moving forwards several times, my hands reached her hips. Lily then circled around to repeat the whole cycle, each time positioning herself to where she wanted to receive the energy.
During a reiki session, I often see imagery or feel sensations which seems to relate to the person I’m working on.
The first image was of Lily cowering.
The next was of Lily with a hazy shell surrounding her. Instead of this shell being a regular distance from her body, there was a big concave depression towards her abdomen. As I watched, the concave depression suddenly popped out, a bit like a clear plastic lid returning to its normal shape after being deformed.
After about twenty minutes Lily had had enough and she walked away and lay down in the middle of the room.
Are we Finished?
I wondered if Lily simply wanted to receive the reiki energy from a distance. With Lily’s owners agreement, I opened my hands towards Lily, who was now about a metre away from me. No reaction. She just looked at me. Without moving my hands, I started the energy flow. Immediately, Lily growled at me, so I diverted my hands away from her and stopped the energy flow. Lily settled again.
It seemed fairly conclusive that Lily could feel the energy flow from a distance and wasn’t afraid to tell me to stop. Great communication.
While Lily lay on the floor, looking very chilled out, for several minutes Lily’s owner and I chatted about what we had seen and what I had experienced. We were fascinated by Lily’s behaviour during the session, much of which her owner said she had never seen before. All the while and without turning her head, Lily just looked at us swivelling her eyes to look at each of us in turn.
Then Lily got up and flopped down in front of me, close enough for me to make a very gentle fuss of her. I had made a friend.
So, what happened since?
Well, Lily has put on weight and her fur has grown thick. She is much calmer and more confident. She also plays in water, something she was very frightened of before the reiki treatment. This is of course, mainly down to consistent love and care from her owners, but I am assured that Lily improved steadily after the reiki session, something that was quite uncertain before.
To quote directly from one of Lily’s owners, “One year on she is definitely what a retriever should be. Much more confident, long furry retriever hair, no longer suffering from her separation anxiety and very trusting of people and other dogs.”
“She was not fond of males as I think a man must have raised his hand to her. Now she is at a point where she would go to anyone. She is also very aware of a family member with a disability and very protective of children, which is something she really struggled with in the past. The best thing is no more barking or scaring people when we go on walks or when they come to the door.”
I was fascinated by Lily’s reaction to the reiki. She had never experienced reiki before and unlike us humans, could not have had any preconceived ideas of what to expect.
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I wish to express my gratitude to Lily’s owner for the following:
- Confirming the accuracy of this article.
- Granting permission for this article to be published.
- Providing the images.
- Providing the session feedback on which I thrive.
- Persuading me to treat Lily in the first place.
My overly cautious attitude to treating animals has been changed for the better. Thank you.